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A Beginner's Guide to Using CBD

Cassara Wagner Oct 24, 2019
A Beginner's Guide to Using CBD

What exactly is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol (canna-bi-die-ahl), and is found in legal industrial hemp plants. Thanks to the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, hemp (defined as cannabis containing less than 1.3% THC) was removed from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances. This resulted in a boom of industrial hemp farms and heaps of hemp research, including the health benefits of CBD, which is just one of over 85 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. While there are a few different types of CBD, which we will touch on later, most CBD product has no traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol—the stuff that makes you feel high), meaning that CBD is non-intoxicating. 

This makes CBD a popular consumption among people for better sleep, increased mood, decreased anxiety, and reduced pain.


How does CBD work in my body?

The human body has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that translates signals it receives from different cannabinoids. This system plays a major role in regulating some of our most important functions: sleep, mood, appetite, bowel movements, and much more.  The ECS's main role is to maintain biological harmony(bodily homeostasis) in response to environmental changes, whether these changes be internal or external, such as physical and mental stressors.

What happens though when this bodily homeostasis is unbalanced? This is where CBD comes in.

Your body naturally has an Endocannabinoid System that produces its own endocannabinoids to support environmental changes, but just like any other nutrient in the human body, there can be a deficiency.

infographic-of-body-endocannabinoid-system

Your body has an Endocannabinoid System that produces its own endocannabinoids to support environmental changes, but just like any other nutrient in the human body, there can be a deficiency. The hemp plant produces phyto-cannabinoids that interact with and boost your endocannabinoid system. CBD is a cannabinoid that is extracted from legal industrial hemp plants. CBD derived from the hemp plant is one of the only legal cannabinoids accessible throughout the United States, this is due to its zero THC count (<0.3%).


The most basic way to explain how CBD works within our bodies is by blocking the breakdown of our natural endocannabinoids. This process then allows our bodies to use more of what we are already producing naturally.

infographic-of-balanced-ecs-with-cbd

How can CBD help me?

CBD is currently being used by people around the globe to treat various physical and mental health ailments. CBD is increasingly being researched and there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it has a number of health benefits. While there is still plenty of research being conducted on the positive effects of CBD, there is quite a long list of claimed benefits from current users and completed studies.


Some studies have found CBD may be effective in providing relief for:
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Addiction and habitual practices
- Schizophrenia
- Alzheimer's
- Helps fight cancer
- Seizures associated with epilepsy
- Pain relief
- Acne and other skin conditions
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Fibromyalgia
- Insomnia


Researchers are still conducting studies to determine what the benefits of using CBD are and to learn about the long-term effects of CBD.

How do I use CBD?

CBD is available in a variety of different forms, allowing the user to tailor their CBD experience based on their personal preference and specific need.
Some of the most common forms of CBD are:

different-forms-of-cbd

Oils & Tinctures

The liquid form of CBD found in oils and tinctures are typically placed under the tongue with a dropper.

Vaping

CBD e-juice can be used in a vapor device and is the fastest way to experience the effects due to its bioavailability, which is the amount of a substance that your body can use once it is introduced. This is because the compounds are inhaled and absorbed directly through the lungs and into the bloodstream.

Creams & Lotions

Also known as topicals, CBD-infused lotions are typically used to treat muscle and joint pain. They are also known to assist with some skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Pills & Capsules

Typically used for treatment of seizure disorders and digestive issues, CBD capsules are a much slower approach to reaping the benefits of CBD. It can take a while for the ingested CBD to get into your bloodstream. Capsules rank much lower on the bioavailability scale.

Gummies & Edibles

The most fun and possibly the most popular way to take CBD is through edibles. They can be very affordable, and taste better than tinctures. They are more portable and discrete, and you also know exactly what dose you are getting.

How much do I take?

Generally, it is recommended to start with a lower dosage and titrate up over time until you feel the most positive effects. As a first time user you have no idea how your body will react to the addition of CBD. Some oils and tinctures come with a dropper labeled with dosages, which makes it easy to titrate up as time goes on.


There is no "standard dose" for using CBD, and everybody's body will react differently to different dosages and forms of CBD. DO NOT stop taking any prescribed medicines to see if CBD will work better, talk to your doctor first, especially if you're being treated for a mental illness or seizures. The FDA recently approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for childhood seizures called Epidiolex, which contains CBD.

What are the different kinds of CBD?

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate- These are the three most common CBD products you will see on the shelves. Below is a graphic with the break-down of each type of CBD product to help you make a more informed purchase.

infographic-of-cbd-makeup

Full Spectrum CBD

Full Spectrum contains every extractable plant material including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. It is the most minimally processed type of CBD concentrate. These type of products are often more preferred over broad spectrum or isolate because when nothing from the plant is excluded, all of the ingredients can work in harmony.

Great if:
- You don't mind a little buzz form the minimal THC amount
- You live in a cannabis legal state
- You don't have to worry about drug tests
- Your prefer less processed CBD product


Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad Spectrum CBD contains all ingredients found in full spectrum, minus the THC, resulting in an additional process to isolate and remove the THC. This process is what makes it possible to consume CBD without any intoxicative effects, thus allowing you to continue with your wellness journey with CBD without effecting any other part of your daily routine.

Great if:
- You have to pass a drug test
- You're sensitive to THC
- You want the benefits of CBD without getting a buzz


CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is 99% pure CBD that has been completely isolated from all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. CBD Isolate can typically be purchased as a fine white powder that can be added to drinks, oils, or food.

Great if:
- You want pure CBD to add to other products
- You're sensitive to THC, CBN, or other cannabinoids

Is CBD Right for Me?

At the end of the day, any CBD product is a wellness supplement and should be used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. If you have done your research and are into trying something different to help you get through your daily routine then we encourage you to give CBD a try. If you do decide to try CBD, make sure you have done your research on what product will work best for your needs, what the correct starting dosage would be, and how it may interact with any other medications you are taking. As always, we are here to answer any additional questions you may have. 

 

Disclaimer: Any health benefit claims mentioned in this article are backed up by scientific studies. Links to these studies can be found by clicking on each health benefit throughout the article.